Society of Aviation and Flight Educators eNewsletter  
UAS Professional Liability Coverage Added
CFI Gold Seal Ground School Benefit
SAFE Exhibits, Speaks at FLYING Expo
FAA Rotorcraft Conference Set
SAFE Volunteers Needed
Redbird Migration Flight Training Conference Set for October
Is the New ACS 'Slow Flight' Slow Enough?
SAFE Response to Flight Training NPRM
2016 Flight Training Poll Sets Record
SAFE Blog Highlights
SAFE Asks Members to Inform Operators on sUAS Rules
New, Renewing Master Instructors
1 September 2016

SAFE represents more than 1,000 of the industry's top aviation educators in 49 states and nine foreign countries, including the majority of Master Instructors and numerous General Aviation Awards winners in all four awards categories. 

Newest SAFE Member Benefit: 
sUAS Professional Liability Insurance

An endorsement for instructing in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) operations is now available free for all SAFE CFI policyholders from Starr Insurance.  It is the latest SAFE membership benefit.  

The endorsement adds up to one million dollars of UAS coverage for liability for negligent instruction, property damage, bodily injury and use of a non-owned UAS.  It also covers the insured CFI for noncommercial use of a non-owned UAS. Physical damage to the UAS itself is excluded.
"With the new FAA rules governing UAS vehicles, effective August 29, flight instructors can - and are - becoming CFIs for the new commercial drones," said David St. George, SAFE Chair.  "This new endorsement automatically added to all SAFE CFI liability policies extends that protection to instructors working with drone operators."
There is no additional charge for the extra SAFE insurance, and it will be automatically included in all SAFE CFI liability policies issued on August 30, 2016 or later by Starr Insurance.  Insurance broker John Sweeney said existing CFI liability policyholders who do not want to wait for policy renewal time to get the coverage should call him at 301-682-6200.

New CFI Gold Seal Ground School Benefit

SAFE CFIs registering online with Gold Seal Ground School will now receive free access to all Gold Seal online courses.  Although this service is limited to FAA-certificated instructors, It is not necessary for the CFI to have a "Gold Seal' FAA instructor certificate.

Additionally, registrant CFIs are able to track their student's progress through the online courses and send personal notes of encouragement or correction.  The service also provide a "homepage" for each registered instructor in the Find An Instructor section of the web site.
"I created a profile for myself on the Gold Seal Ground School site to advertise my aviation instructional expertise and availability as an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner," said David St. George, SAFE Chair.  (See photo).  "It's free advertising of the best kind for any CFI or DPE."
The site tool that allows a CFI to track his or her student's progress and send notes is particularly beneficial, said St. George.  "It's a powerful CFI tool to retain and motivate students," he said.  "With a 75% attrition rate for students in primary training, I don't see why any instructor wouldn't want to use a free retention tool like this." 

SAFE Booth, Presentations at FLYING Expo in Oct

SAFE will have a booth and four SAFE members will be making presentations at the third annual 2016 FLYING Aviation Expo in Palm Springs, CA October 20-22.  The Flying Expo will bring together pilots, aircraft manufacturers and pilot products and services and for 3 days of airplane browsing, product shopping and pilot education
SAFE members Gary Reeves, Judy Phelps, Kay Sundaram and John Mahany will provide presentations at the event, which is billed as an industry collaboration between aviators who are passionate about providing an opportunity to build community among pilots.   Mahany will present "Runway Incursions" at 2:30 pm on Thursday, Oct 20, and Sundaram will present "iPad In The Cockpit 101" at noon on Friday, Oct 21.  Reeves will speak on "Avidyne IFD and Garmin 430/530 Pro Tips" at noon on Saturday, Oct 22 and Phelps will present "Stalls, Spins and Unusual Attitudes" at 1:00 pm the same day.
Mahany will also staff the SAFE booth before his presentation.
Registration for the Flying Aviation Expo is available now.

FAA Rotorcraft Safety Conference Set for October


The FAA's second annual International Rotorcraft Safety Conference will be held October 25-27 in Fort Worth, TX.  The goal of the conference is to reduce the helicopter accident rate in the U.S.
The free event is intended for rotorcraft pilots, mechanics, small company owners, industry executives, operators and government regulators from the U.S. and abroad.  Topics planned for discussion at the conference include:
  • Improving decisions
  • Creating a culture of safety
  • Performing autorotations
  • Choosing the best protection equipment
  • Basic helicopter safety and maintenance
  • How flight training schools promote safety

Member Outreach, Volunteers 
Needed for Regional Gatherings

Volunteers are needed to represent SAFE at local and regional aviation events, such as the FLYING Aviation Expo in Palm Springs, California, October 20-22.  Any member who plans to be at the Aviation Expo event and wishes to volunteer may sign up on the SAFE website.
SAFE Chair David St. George noted the large AOPA fly-ins, such as the one that just finished in Bremerton, WA, and said other AOPA gatherings this year would be held at Battle Creek, MI on September 17 and Prescott AZ on October 1.
"We want to personally meet and invite our members and interested educators to participate in various regional events," he said, and pointed to the organization's 'Ambassador Kits' that provide handout materials and advice on how to most effectively present SAFE's efforts to improve aviation safety and encourage excellence in aviation education at all levels. 

Redbird Migration Flight Training 
Conference Set for October

The seventh annual Redbird Migration, billed as "the leading conference for flight training professionals," has been scheduled for October 25-26, 2016 at Redbird Skyport in San Marcos, TX.
This year's Migration will feature presentations from a wide range of industry leaders in the mornings and small group break-out sessions in the afternoon, focused on providing solutions to the real-world problems facing flight schools and universities.  Company spokesperson Brittney Miculka said new Redbird technology for the company's Parrot and Scarlet products will be featured, as will tips and tricks for enhancing flight school marketing tactics. 

Is The New ACS "Slow Flight" Slow Enough?  
Please Weigh In
An FAA change made in the Airman Certification Standards (ACS) in the way 'slow flight' should be performed is causing much controversy within the flight training industry.   The issue is whether new pilots will be properly trained, given the new slow flight standard, and how the ACS should be revised to ensure safe, well-trained pilots.

SAFE has been and is continuing to work toward resolving the issue. As a member-centric organization, SAFE is asking members to weigh in on whether the slow flight task in the ACS should be revised.  Please take the SAFE Online Slow Flight Survey to register your opinion anonymously.
SAFE's representative on the ACS Working Group is Donna Wilt.  SAFE's Director Emeritus Doug Stewart and other SAFE members, who represent other organizations, are also part of the working group.  Wilt says that while the working group discussed the slow flight maneuver several times, she and Stewart were surprised by the wording in the new ACS when the final version came out. 
Since then, SAFE has been working with the FAA and other members of the ACS Working Group to address the slow flight issue. SAFE has requested that the issue be on the agenda for the September 14-15 ACS Working Group meeting, so the group itself can address these concerns.
Where the old Practical Test Standards (PTS) defined slow flight to be at "an airspeed at which any further increase in angle of attack, increase in load factor or reduction in power would result in an immediate stall," the new ACS calls for "an airspeed approximately 5-10 knots above the 1G stall speed, at which the airplane is capable of maintaining controlled flight without activating the stall warning."

SAFE Member Input Helped Shape Response to NPRM
SAFE's August 10 response to the FAA's proposal for rule changes affecting flight instructors largely reflected SAFE member opinions, based on response gathered at the SAFE booth at AirVenture in Oshkosh in late July.  SAFE's response was written by the organization's Government Affairs Committee, made up of members Donna Wilt, Doug Stewart, Tim Busch and Mike Coligny.
While FAA NPRM-2016-6142-0001 had numerous proposed changes, the most significant were:  
  • Changing the definition of a technically advanced aircraft (TAA) to an aircraft with an advanced avionics system including a PFD, MFD and an integrated two axis autopilot;
  • Providing the option of a TAA to meet the 10 hours of instruction and practice currently done in a complex airplane for a single-engine commercial pilot certificate;
  • Substantially reducing the requirements for instrument recency in an aviation training device, including allowing six months between recurrency sessions instead of the now-required two months;
  • Eliminating the need for an instructor to provide oversight during recency practice using a simulator or ATD;
  • Allowing sport pilot instructors to provide instrument instruction required for sport pilot certificate.
  In the response, SAFE recommended that the use of a TAA instead of a complex aircraft be allowed provided the FAA requires commercial pilots to log at least 10 hours of PIC time in a complex aircraft prior to using such an aircraft for commercial purposes or giving flight instruction. 
The FAA's comment period on the NPRM closed August 10. 
2016 AOPA Flight Training Poll 
Closes With Record Sample Size

More than 11,000 pilots participated in the 2016 AOPA Flight Training poll, a record for any survey of flight training providers.  The poll closed at noon on August 22.

  SAFE supported the AOPA outreach effort, promoting the poll in eNews and elsewhere and providing a polling station for SAFE members at this year's EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh in late July.  The poll was designed to measure the performance of flight instructors and schools in four categories: educational quality, customer focus, community, and information sharing.
According to Chris Moser, AOPA Senior Manager for Flight Training Initiatives, analysis of the data will start soon and is expected to be completed by the beginning of October.  "We'll be crunching the data and doing the selection process for the Best and Outstanding level winners during September," said Moser.

SAFE Blog Highlights CFI Purpose, Tools

The Instructor's Purpose by MCFI and 2006 National Flight Instructor of the Year Rich Stowell, aka "The Spin Doctor," asks what a CFI's purpose should be.  The succinct answer in this blog post has three points.  Read about them here.
Transitioning From A Mooney to An Arrow , by Parvez Dara, MCFI and ATP from New Jersey is an honest and revealing story about one man's surprises in learning a new airplane.  "There is definitely a need for a difference between the mind and the mental state (when transitioning)," wrote Dara in the blog.
Professional Tools for CFIs offers information on the fully updated SAFE CFI Toolkit, which is free for everyone.  It's a mobile app for both IOS and Android systems, and contains all the up-to-the-minute FAA and industry resources for an active CFI in the trenches. 
Commercial Drone Regs  appeared just two days ago in the SAFE Blog, and reminds commercial operators (i.e., those who get paid for using drones for aerial photography or other uses) that they must be licensed and stay within the rules.  (See related story, below).

SAFE Asks Members to Inform 
New Operators About sUAS Rules

SAFE is asking its members to help aspiring commercial drone operators with current information on proper use of the devices to minimize hazard to aircraft.   
"The new FAR Part 107 gives great freedom for aspiring unmanned aviators," said David St. George, SAFE Chair, "but the peril will be more activity in the airspace and virtually undetectable conflicts for larger aircraft."  He pointed out that CFIs are more likely than most aviators to be exposed to low-altitude hazards due to requirements for teaching turns about a point, S turns across a road, takeoffs and landings and other low-altitude maneuvers.
St. George said that a short FAA information sheet summarizing the information for commercial drone operators is available free from the FAA , and that aviation attorney Jonathan Rupprecht of Palm Beach, Florida has a well-organized drone web site that includes a free FAR Part 107 test study guide.   A guide for pilots operating near drones is available free from SecureAV , where the organization also has a PDF poster warning pilots of the growing drone population.
One of the new issues in drone regulation is that while commercial drone operators are restricted within five miles of a towered airport, there are NO limitations for drone operators around non-towered airports, which make up the bulk of airports where flight training takes place.

New, Renewing Master Instructors

Five of the nation's top professional aviation educators renewed their Master CFI designations in July and August, all through Master Instructors, LLC .  The designation identifies outstanding aviation educators who demonstrate an ongoing commitment to excellence, professional growth, and service to the aviation community.   

"Through their dedication to excellence, Masters have earned their "black belts" in aviation education," said Sandy Hill, administrator of the Master Instructor program.  "They truly represent the crème de la crème of the aviation industry."
The Master Instructor designation is a national accreditation recognized by the FAA. 

Lance Alan Bartel , a 2-time Master CFI and SAFE member, renewed his Master CFI accreditation July 31.  

A graduate of Kansas State University's Professional Pilot Program at Salina Municipal Airport, Lance works as an instructor with Textron Aviation.  

He specializes in providing Beechcraft Baron and Bonanza factory training courses to customers nationwide and conducts aircraft flight demonstrations.    


Timothy J Brill , a 4-time Master CFI as well as a member of IAC and SAFE, renewed his Master CFI-Aerobatic accreditation July 31.  

Tim operates the  Aerobatic Company , a flight school specializing in emergency maneuver, spin recovery, aerobatic training, tailwheel endorsements, and mountain flying at Reno Stead Airport (RTS)

 He also serves as a FAASTeam representative for the FAA's Reno FSDO. 

David A Simpson , a 5-time Master and SAFE member, renewed his Master CFI accreditation August 15.  

Dave owns and operates Take Flight San Diego at Gillespie Field, where he specializes in accelerated primary, commercial, and instrument ground and flight training.  

He also serves as a FAASTeam representative for the FAA's San Diego FSDO.

David St George, a 10-time Master, SAFE member and current Chair of SAFE, renewed his Master CFI August 31.  The newly elected chair of SAFE is a Part 141 charter pilot and long-time designated pilot examiner   and a FAASTeam representative for the Rochester NY FSDO.  

David was one of the first aviation educators to earn the Master designation when the accreditation program was first introduced by then-FAA Administrator Barry Valentine at Oshkosh AirVenture 1997.   

Richard K Wright, a 5-time Master and SAFE member, earned his Master Aviation Educator  accreditation August 15.  Rick is the chief instructor of Wright Aviation  at Deer Valley Airport  where he specializes in initial and recurrent TAA training.  A Marine Corps veteran, he also serves as a FAASTeam representative for the FAA's Scottsdale FSDO.


David St. George, 
Society of Aviation and Flight Educators
Copyright SAFE, Inc. 2016. All rights reserved.
SAFE, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Public Charity -- --